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Family Games Night Wii Guide

01/12/2008 Family Family Gamer Guide
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Family Games Night Nintendo Wii

Family Games Night

Nintendo Wii


Further reading:
Mini games

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Domestic Gamer (DS)

Hasbro bring its board game expertise to complement EA's gaming know how. Family Games Night provides video game versions of their popular titles - Connect Four, Frustration... For a fraction of what these would cost to buy in real life it's a tempting option for families with Wii's in the lounge.

It's one of those type of game genres...

Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.

But why is it any better than the others...

Family Games Night is unique because it simulates long established board games. Although other games often provide a board game like experience, the nature of game development means they lack the resources to fine tune these games. Family Games Night draws on the work that Hasbro did when first developing their games that have provided themselves over time (and subsequent generations of players).

In addition to the basic rules, most of the games provide some more advanced rules to extend the experience. They are largley controlled via the Wii-mote's pointing ability and do a good job of getting as close as possible to that coffee table board game feel.

So what experience should I play this game for...

Moments when the youngest and oldest members in the family are all on the couch together playing a game, shouting at the TV with equal enthusiasm are some of the most priceless in video gaming.

And when can I take a break...

The games last about the same as their board game equivalents. There is a time saving because you don't need to set things up before hand, or locate those missing pieces. Partly because of this, and the range of games on offer, players are more likely to try a few different games in a row.

This is a great game for who...

This game appeals to different people for different reasons. Perhaps the main group are those who wouldn't normally play video games but are drawn in by the familiar Hasbro titles. Many parents will receive this as a birthday or Christmas present, and be sat down in the evening to go through their paces with the rest of the family.

This older appeal combines well with the very young audience who will be excited to be able to play along as well. The simple board game nature of the games makes them easy to understand by a wide range of ages and abilities.

Expert players may find these older game formats a little restrictive - but there is plenty here to interest those with an enquiring mind.

Written by Andy Robertson

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Andy Robertson writes the Family Gamer column.

"Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."

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